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Money and Its Use in Medieval Europe – Two Decades On
A Symposium in Honour of Peter Spufford

Queens' College, Cambridge, 16-17 September 2010

Professor Peter Spufford FBA is the leading medieval monetary historian of the day. His work has transformed our understanding of money in later medieval Europe and inspired and stimulated a generation of historians and numismatists. In particular, his Money and its use in Medieval Europe (Cambridge, 1988) was the first full-scale study of the history of money, not merely coinage, to have been written for medieval Europe, and it remains the standard work in this field. In its preparation he created the innovative Handbook of Medieval Exchange (Royal Historical Society, 1986). He continued to explore some of the main themes further in Power and Profit. The Merchant in Medieval Europe (Thames and Hudson, 2002).

His colleagues seek to celebrate his contribution at a Symposium in Cambridge, the proceedings of which we plan to publish subsequently as a Festschrift. The meeting and its subsequent publication will be tightly focussed on the subject matter of Spufford's work, and will take as its theme a reconsideration of the principal strands in his Money and its Use book.

The Symposium will be held over two days (16-17 Sept. 2010) in Professor Spufford's own College, Queens'. There will be 13 papers, each of 30 minutes plus 10 minutes of discussion. The papers will cover a variety of topics including minting and mint organisation, mint output and money supply, financial networks and trade, the role of Italian bankers, merchants and mint masters elsewhere in Europe during the Commercial Revolution and later, the effects of the 'silver famine' of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and the use of commodity money in Northern Europe.

Speakers will include:

  • Lucia Travaini, "Mint organization in late medieval Italy"
  • Bill Day, "Percivale del Portico: a case study of Italian mint workers abroad"
  • Alan Stahl, "The account books of a Venetian money changer"
  • Barrie Cook, "English monetary policy in Acquitaine"
  • Martin Allen, "The Calais mint and the wool trade reconsidered"
  • Jim Bolton, "Financial networks in England and the Continent"
  • Adrian Bell, "The non-use of money: credit finance in the Middle Ages"
  • Jan Pelsdonk, "Late thirteenth-century trade and the 's-Hertogenbosch 1998 hoard"
  • Marcel van der Beek, "Van der Beek's laws on low alloy coins, with special reference to the Burgundian Netherlands"
  • Borys Paszkeiwicz, "Groschen reforms in mid fourteenth-century Poland and Prussia"
  • Oliver Volckart and David Chilosi, "A comparative analysis of debasement in late medieval Europe"

Accommodation can be arranged in Queens' College at £42·65 per night en suite (£33·10 per head in a double room en suite).

Two lunches, and tea and coffee throughout the proceedings will be provided at £50·00 a head. A special dinner will be held in Queens' on 16 September to honour Peter and Margaret Spufford, and is open to all at a cost of £45·00.

Students of Cambridge University will be able to attend free of charge, without lunch or dinner provided.

Bookings for ths Symposium are now open and online:

OR contact the Symposium organizer to pay by cheque.

Bookings will close on Monday 6 September 2010.

Please address any queries about booking and payment to Laura Cousens at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge ().

Any queries about the Symposium are to be addressed to Dr Martin Allen, Department of Coins and Medals, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge CB2 1RB, tel. 0044 (0)1223 332915; email .

The Symposium is organised by the Fitzwilliam Museum and supported by the George Macaulay Trevelyan Fund with additional support from the Winton Institute for Monetary History at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.